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Heels set for Miami

UNC (10-4, 0-1 ACC) vs. Miami (10-3, 1-0)

Leslie McDonald is questionable for the game after tweaking his knee Tuesday.

When: Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m.

Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill (N.C.)

TV: ESPN

Quick hits

Last season: UNC won both matchups against the Hurricanes and the Heels scored 73 points in each outing. Exactly one year ago from tomorrow’s game, No. 3 Carolina routed Miami 73-56 at home. On Feb. 15 in Coral Gables (Fla.), No. 7 UNC won 73-64 after only shooting 38 percent from the field and overcoming an eight-point deficit in the second half.

Last game: Reggie Bullock scored 22 points on 7-9 shooting from the field and 4-6 shooting from behind the arc, but the other four UNC starters combined for only 19 points on a dismal shooting night. UVa’s Joe Harris scored 19 points, and the Cavaliers used a 15-2 second-half run to beat the Heels 61-52 in Charlottesville.

Season story: Preseason picked to finish 5th in the ACC by the media, the Hurricanes opened conference play with a win after defeating Georgia Tech Jan. 5 in Atlanta 62-49. Miami has suffered losses to Florida Gulf Coast, No. 4 Arizona and Indiana State. The Canes most significant win has been against No. 13 Michigan State in November.

What to watch for:

-- Leslie McDonald didn't practice yesterday because he tweaked a knee. Roy is unsure if McDonald will practice today and his status is unknown for tomorrow’s game.

-- Miami center Reggie Johnson suffered a left-hand thumb injury and has not played since December. Even without the senior Winston-Salem (N.C.) native, Miami does not lack size or experience. Miami will start four seniors and one sophomore, two of which are 6-11 and 6-10.

-- UNC ranks 2nd in the nation in rebounds per game (44.1), 3rd in assists (18.7) and 9th in points (81.4). Roy said today he believes some of the biggest problems with this team to be scoring inside, getting to the free throw line and consistently scoring from outside.

Expected starters:

UNC

F: Desmond Hubert (6’9”, 200, So.) – 1.3 PPG
F: James Michael McAdoo (6’9”, 230, So.) -- 14.5 PPG
G: Reggie Bullock (6’7”, 205, Jr.) – 13.8 PPG
G: Dexter Strickland (6’3”, 185, Sr.) – 9.0 PPG
PG: Marcus Paige (6’5”, 157, Fr.) – 7.0 PPG

Miami

F-C: Julian Gamble (6’10”, 250, Sr.) – 5.9 PPG
F-C: Kenny Kadji (6’11”, 242, Sr.) – 11.9 PPG
G: Trey McKinney Jones (6’5”, 220, Sr.) – 9.8 PPG
G: Durand Scott (6’5”, 203, Sr.) – 14.7 PPG
PG Shane Larkin (5’11”, 176, So.) – 12.8 PPG

Quotable:

“The very first possession after that we give up a wide open three, just silliness. You can’t say you are young anymore. We’ve played 14 games. I know this is the first ACC game, but Joe comes off a screen and there’s nobody there and just pulls up and shoots the three wide open. So for us, it was more of a breakdown on both ends of the court.”– Roy Williams after UNC squandered an eight-point lead in the second half against UVa

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